Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

Liquid Love

posted by in Italian, Restaurants

Three years ago, I wrote an article detailing my 6 Exciting Desserts for 2003. Included on that list was the panna cotta at Caffe Maestro. I followed up that article with my 10 Best Desserts in Manila for 2005.

I was recently in Caffe Maestro again, and again I ordered what may just be two of my most favorite desserts.

panna cotta

This is the panna cotta (P195) looking every bit like the goddess that it is. Once I tried this, I forgot about all the other panna cotta wannabes. Essentially cream (panna) and sugar mixed together, just a dash of gelatin is used to forge this divine alliance. Flavoring is unnecessary if the best quality cream is used. No cooking required, just chilling. I have introduced several people to this dessert, ranging from family members to good friends. All were rendered speechless, food comas personified.

I love how the custard trembles with the slightest nudge from my spoon. Slowly, slowly, the spoon eases down, a motion similar to caressing a lover. I take along some of the truffled honey shimmering like gold, which provides a delicate sweetness, and crushed walnuts which provide crunch. This flan jiggles like a voluptuous woman’s thigh; it melts from the warmth of my tongue and goes down easy like liquid love.


Zabaione (za-ba-YOH-neh), also zabaglione is one of the most luxurious desserts I’ve ever eaten. Egg yolks, Marsala wine, and sugar are whisked over a double boiler until foamy and thick. In the mouth, it’s like eating a billion bubbles. If I’m feeling playful, I let a spoonful just sit in my mouth, and the bubbles pop quickly, slowly. Once a spoonful goes down, the heat from the wine comes up, igniting a lazy simmer at the back of my throat.

At Caffe Maestro, zabaione is served with two ladyfingers for dipping. In France, zabaione is called sabayon, and it’s poured over cake, pastry, and even fish.


Caffe Maestro
1780 Nicanor Garcia St. (formerly Reposo),
Santiago Village, Makati

7 Responses to “Liquid Love”

  • Practically pornographic, Lori. Food porn, of course, though. Great description of that panna cotta.


  • Oooh! I love Cafe Maestro panna cotta! Yummy Lori! And Cafe Maestro is one of the places C brought me to when we were first going out :)


  • Oh man, I so miss Caffe Maestro’s panna cotta! I loved eating in that place when I was still living in Manila. My friends didn’t have to ask me what dessert I was ordering because they already knew the answer. I will have to eat there again on my next vacation.


  • my mouth is soooo watery right now!!


  • lori, grabeeee! we could share passion pagdating sa pannacotta. pero mas bilib ako sa yo. ibang klase ang description mo ng pannacotta, parang wala nang pinakamasarap na pagkain sa mundo kundi yan! btw, may email nga pala ko sa yo. :)


  • I remember having that with Jay P during our infamous Meet MiG Ayesa episode. While Jay did notice and commend the panna cotta I just giggled inanely for the most part.



    I’ve rarely had panna cotta but I don’t see the point since I doubt I will find one here as good as the one you had! Aieeeeee sounds so good..mraah…! And I’m pretty sure I’ve never had zabaione. It sounds familiar, but I don’t know why. Hm.


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